I forget the exact date I moved from the South to CT to start law school but 10 years ago today, I know what I was doing.
I was living in a hotel room in Branford, CT. I had a king sized bed (which made me wistful for a boyfriend or a guy I could hang out with for sexy time), cable TV and the means to hook up my VCR and what what I wanted since I'd included the things I needed to move into an apartment. Fortunately, I made sure to also bring my huge fur coat. That thing finally started to get some wear when I moved to CT since I needed it for the massive snows and cold temperatures that were a foreign concept in Atlanta.
After spending the holidays in NC and knowing law school classes started January 5th, I had to get my butt moving so I made sure to hit the road as soon as possible. I remember going either on the 27th or the 28th.
Unfortunately, I had a small mishap in Trevose, Pennsylvania and had to stay in a hotel there overnight + get my car looked at before going back on the road. That freaked me out since I had no money for things & stuff like that always makes you edgy, especially when you're on your own hundreds of miles away from anyone who could help you. Adventure is the name of the game there.
Still, when I finally got back on the road I felt a natural high when I crossed the George Washington Bridge in NYC. It was like having tons of money in your pocket or getting a really great orgasm. I also felt like "Finally, my life is starting to begin." Before going to Atlanta, I feel like I never got to start my life & going to CT was just more of this "living my life" stuff vs. living my parents' life.
The downside of 10 years ago today was the "hurry up & wait." You know that feeling, right? You know all this stuff is going to happen and you have to engage in tons of preparation but you can't actually do it today b/c it's the holidays or no one is available or whatever else. I had books to buy, an apartment to search for, a roommate to meet, and quite a bit of time to kill. Hours & days dragged on.
10 years later, I've been feeling a similar feeling. Maybe it's just the inevitable after Christmas/before New Year's stuff?
One thing I did 10 years ago was go to the Times Square ball drop for New Year's Eve. I left around 4 or 5 to get to the city from MetroNorth & had dinner before going to stand. I ended up at West 47th but did get a view of the ball drop. The main reason I went was because I had the choice of going to the ball drop or sitting all alone in my hotel room; which would you have picked?
Going to the ball drop is interesting & going by yourself is even more of an event. First off, you'd better have a very strong bladder & go before you join the crowd. If you move out of the crowd to go to the bathroom, you will never get your spot back. Lost a few people in our crowd because they went to the bathroom & I didn't see them come back to our spot.
Second, you'd better wear comfortable shoes. You'll be standing for a very long time if you do this. I was on my feet for a good 6+ hours & there's no seating unless you thought to bring your own. Even then, it gets crazy packed so you won't want to do too much sitting. I crouched a few times to rest myself but the NYC streets are not super clean and things get dropped easily in that crowd so formally sitting down isn't really going to happen when you're out there.
Third, don't fucking smoke or bring your little kids!! This is one of those situations where you don't go doing things to piss other people off. Your little kids will end up getting hurt; in fact, I think people bringing little kids to stand in the Times Square crowd ought to get arrested for child endangerment. We also don't want to smell your drifting cigarette smoke; I commented myself that there ought to be a section for smokers in the crowd along with those who want to smell the smoke so the smokers can puff away & not infect the rest of us with secondhand smoke if we don't want it. If your child can't stand for long periods of time on his/her own, there's no reason to make that kid suffer the hours in that mess. Let those kids watch it on TV with their parents instead of indulging some parent's attempt to endanger their kids with the smokers blowing smoke, the drinkers drinking & the massively packed crowd that consistently moves ever closer to get the best view.
Finally, you'll get to meet interesting people and hear interesting conversations. When I went, I ended up in a crowd with some teachers who were definitely not acting very teacher-like. I didn't care since they apparently taught younger kids & I'm not a prudish person but there was drinking and some conversation that wasn't remotely child friendly. The crowd kept moving from time to time but I figured these teachers needed a break & it was New Year's, after all. Plus, I later met a teacher who told me about some very freaky sexual proclivities but did take me out on my first Valentine's Day in CT after hearing about my horrible history with them in college.
You'd think I'd have chatted with people or met some hot guy when I was in Times Square that night but I didn't. That sort of thing seems to happen more when I'm not looking for it. I could (and still can) have a simple conversation with a guy, having no romantic designs or intent & the next thing you know that guy wants my phone number or tells me he'd like to sleep with me (I hear that & think "Yeah, you & plenty of others"). I had some opportunities for great places to have sex stories & never got to actually have sex in those places, including my king sized bed in the hotel room in Branford.
Reflecting on my life then & now, I'm not sure there's too much of a difference. I'm married and I live in NYC, have cats and more stability but there's still the "hurry up & wait," the waiting for my life to truly begin in some ways and waiting to find out about important opportunities I was told about before. The adventures are different but I still try to make sure I have them since I refuse to become boring or dull. Why, however, does it feel like everyone wants me to become dull and boring? It's just not who I am & I know I'll never be that way, even when I start looking like an old lady (assuming I live that long). I was living down to the penny then & I definitely feel like I'm doing that now. Maybe now there's more potential to do things, though. At least, I like to hope so.
Here's hoping 2014 will be better than 2013 was, at least in my personal life. It seems I'm doing the right thing in re-evaluating things & making the choices I have. There's still work to be done in so many places & if I've learned anything, it's that life is way too short not to live as you want + without pain, misery, heartache, etc.